Former TV presenter Louis Otieno has spoken publicly for the first time over the death of his girlfriend Careen Chepchumba and declared that he knows nothing about the killing. Otieno instead blamed bloggers for circulating erroneous reports that have cast aspersions on his reputation. “The articles unfortunately have suggested that I am wanted, or being sought by the police as a suspect. The articles have also suggested that I am on the run which is absolutely false,” the former TV talk show host insisted. Chepchumba who died at 26 was an IT specialist at the Kenya Power company.
“The fact is that following the unfortunate demise of Careen, a number of persons all of who knew the deceased in one way or another, have been contacted by the Kenya police to determine whether or not they have any useful information regarding the incident.” Otieno confirmed that he was among the people working closely with the police in the investigation, and was optimistic he will be vindicated.
“I am certain that I will be cleared of any wrongdoing or event that could have led to the unfortunate death of Careen,” he said at a press conference in the company of lawyer Philip Murgor. Otieno insisted he was innocent and wondered why anyone would want to link him to “a murder I have nothing to do with. All I know is that I lost a friend.”
He admitted having a relationship with Careen prior to her death, but clarified that he last saw her earlier this month. She was a daughter to Hosea Kili, the Managing Trustee of Local Authorities Pension Trust (LAPTRUST).
Otieno is a neighbour of Careen’s family at an apartment block on Rose Avenue off Ngong Road, while the girl lived nearly a kilometre away in another apartment on Kirichwa Road within Kilimani.
Her body was discovered in the apartment last Tuesday morning and a post-mortem report shows she was strangled to death.
Soon after Careen’s body was discovered, her father said: “Our daughter was killed. She died in circumstances that cannot be explained. A post-mortem has showed Careen was actually strangled.”
Without mentioning any names, Kili demanded a thorough investigation from the police saying: “We do not want to speculate, but if the police can find out the people who were associating with my daughter, they should be able to pick the suspects.”
On Tuesday, Otieno vowed to continue cooperating with the police in the investigation.
“I have been a friend to Careen for a little over a year and I learned about the death from the police. I am completely innocent,” he told journalists at the media conference.
Otieno said he was aware of “a lot of dirt that has been flying around to the effect that the deceased woman had accumulated debts because of me.”
“A lot of things will come out after the investigations. I know there are a lot of things that are being discussed now but our friendship was being violently resisted by her parents. And that is one of the issues that she was seeking help and I did what I could to enable her get assistance in that area, including advising her to document each and every incident,” Otieno disclosed.
Although the girl’s father was clearly opposed to the relationship, Otieno said he never spoke to him directly about it. “I cannot say to you why they were opposed to the friendship, but I can also tell you that we did not have a friendship on the promise of engagement or promise of marriage. That kind of relationship did not exist.”
“There are certain incidents where we have reported and I wouldn’t want to go into details,” he said as his lawyer intermittently interjected cautioning him against revealing or commenting on what is included in his statements to the police.
Asked to comment about a document the deceased girl’s father told journalists indicated that Otieno had been harassing her, he said: “I was her friend, and if there was any kind of harassment, why would it be on a single note, it could be on a series of documented notes, but then these are issues that are being investigated.”
On reports by bloggers that he has been on the run, Otieno said: “How can I be on the run when you can confirm that I have been at the police station several times? I have never been held, and I have never been picked up at any one time.”
“I drive around in Nairobi… I have been in shopping malls, I have been at the airport and I have been seen all over in public places. How can I be on the run yet I am seen in public,” Otieno said, insisting he is not a suspect in the murder. “All I know is that I lost a friend, and I as much as the next person I would want to know what happened to her.”
When one journalist at the press conference asked him if he can be described as a violent man, he said: “I have no history of violence ever, from school from growing up to my adult age; I do not have a history of violence.”